‘Faith. Family. Career. In that order.’

Credit: Pamela Raith

The story about one of the nation’s biggest boybands is portrayed in this spectacular musical.

The Osmonds: A New Musical shares the family’s journey to stardom, the highs, the lows and all the successful hits that have made them the most loved band. The Osmonds begun their career from early childhood and the musical showcases a timeline of events, including their residency at The Andy Williams Show, sold out tours and the rise of Donny and Marie. I wasn’t familiar with ‘Osmondmania’ however I thoroughly enjoyed discovering more about the five brothers and their rise to fame.

Directed and co-written by Shaun Kerrison, the story of The Osmonds is shared from the perspective of the fourth brother, Jay Osmond (Alex Lodge) who narrates throughout the show. Though I assumed it was going to solely be a tribute act, we end up learning about the brother’s experiences in the band. The strict regime, their personal issues and behind the scenes of America’s ‘picture perfect’ multiskilled family.

The band are shown from as young as 5 years old, with an impressive children’s cast (Nicolas Teixeira, Oliver Forde, Jack Sherran, Louis Stow, Lyle Wren, London Johnson) who sung in unison, sporting the most adorable red blazers.

The importance of family is emphasised throughout, with the brothers’ military father, George Osmond (Charlie Allen) reminding the band, ‘Family is what we are. Career is what we do’. The cast of Osmond brothers (Merrill – Ryan Anderson, Alan – Jamie Chatterson, Wayne – Danny Nattras, Jay – Alex Lodge, Donny – Joseph Peacock) were engaging, charismatic and maintained a high level of energy. From the banter to the words of encouragement, I really enjoyed the brotherly interactions.

Younger sister, Marie Osmond (Georgia Lennon) also had her own career highlighted, where she beautifully sings ‘Paper Roses’ and we have a fun duet with her and Donny. Oliver-award winning choreographer, Bill Deamer, provided the entertaining dance routines, all performed in a synchronised fashion.

Credit: Pamela Raith

Lucy Osbourne did an amazing job with the costume design – I loved all the outfits. Loud shirts, flares and perfectly floppy hair, accurately representing The Osmonds. The velour jumpsuits with silver sequins were a personal favourite! The staging and lighting felt as though we were watching a concert, especially with the studio strobe lights shining around the theatre. I did notice some technical issues such as delayed spotlights and microphones not being on. As the tour goes on, I’m sure these minor blips will be resolved.

The script is strong, especially during the ‘family meeting’ scene, where the intensity picks up as a revelation almost divided the brothers. With a running time just under three hours long, some of the songs could have been left out to make this musical slightly shorter. The show featured a wide repertoire of Osmonds’ hits, including ‘Crazy Horses, ‘Love Me for a Reason’, and ‘Puppy Love’.

As the audience swayed, waved their merchandise and sung along, it was what I envisioned an Osmonds tour was like in the 70s. The musical certainly provided a sense of nostalgia for the fans and was a wonderful tribute to the Osmond family. The performances (and the special guest appearance!) certainly made this a musical to remember.

One family. One hundred million records, and one unforgettable evening! The Osmonds: A New Musical is showing until 27th August at New Wimbledon Theatre.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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